What is a noise to one person may be pleasurable to another, but excessive noise can reduce the quality of life and, in some extreme cases even destroy it.

Over the past year the level of noise from some residents has grown to be unacceptable, with complaints being received from people who are being kept awake until the early hours of the morning by excessive noise.
Many residents live in maisonettes or semi-detached housing so noise does travel.  Please be considerate of your neighbours and think about the impact that your noise is having on their lives.

If noise is upsetting your life then there are things that you can do to overcome the problem in positive and constructive ways:

  • Consider talking to the person or company responsible for the noise and point out the problem.  You may find that they are unaware that they are disturbing you.
  • Mediation could be the answer.  If the direct approach does not succeed, you may want to consider mediation.  An independent third party will listen to the views of both parties and can help you to reach an agreement or compromise.  For details on this service call Mediation UK on 0117 904 6661.
  • If informal action is not possible or fails you can resolve the problem by taking formal action.  The most common route involves complaining to your local authority.

Local authorities have a duty to investigate complaints.  There is a package of measures that local authorities can use to tackle neighbour nuisance problems.
If you want to make a complaint about noise, you should contact the local authority, usually the environmental health department. If they visit or witness the noise and are satisfied that a statutory nuisance exists, they must take immediate action.  If the noise is intermittent, you may be asked to keep details of the noise in the form of a diary.

Another option for OGRES residents is to contact the Safer Neighbourhood Police Team on 020 8721 2730 who will send an officer to investigate at the time.
Please be considerate of your neighbours!

Eight Steps to Silence

Summertime and the living is noisy. And it will stay that way until you take action. If you have a problem, try following these simple rules:

1.) Pluck up the courage to ask your neighbor to stop making so much noise, explaining politely what it is doing to you and your family

2.) Suggest a compromise. For example, little Johnny can bash his football against your wall for two hours, provided that be stops at 9pm

3.) Invite your neighbor to attend a dog training course so that they may better understand their dog’s (incessant) bark. The department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs offers free classes in understanding canine “woofs”. Peterborough city council was the first to offer it after it found that 15% of the 1300 noise complaints to its pollution control team related to the barking of dogs.

4.) If you can’t work it out together, call in a third party. Contact Mediation UK, 0117 904 6661, www.mediationuk.org.uk

5.) If counselling doesn’t work, then complain to your local authority’s environmental health department. Keep a diary of the noise and its levels. If the local authority thinks that it is a statutory nuisance, it can issue an abatement notice. If the noise continues, it becomes an offence and can be punishable by a fine of up to £5000 or an Asbo.

6.) If you aren’t happy with the local authority or your neighbors, then you can start legal proceedings at the magistrates court.

7.) If not, move house or invest in some serious soundproofing. Contact www.noisenet.org

8.) Anyone buying in London can check local noise pollution levels at www.noisemapping.org

UK Noise Association, www.ukna.org.uk for more information, go to www.defra.gov.uk/environment/noise/suffer or www.noiseconcern.org

This article is courtesy of The Sunday Times